The Finance Minister has assured government will be able to implement all the required reforms to help complete the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program as scheduled.
Ken Ofori-Atta’s assurance follows concerns that government might have to embark on a “crush program” to help meet the April 2018 deadline for complementing the FUND program.
Speaking to JOYBUSINESS on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC, he said these tough measures and reforms would have been implemented anyway if the country was not under a fund program, therefore the program should not be seen as putting any undue pressure on government.
“We confident that we will meet the targets that we have set this year, and remember the fund will be with us, as we work through the 2018 budget, and we are truly committed to ending the program in April 2018,” he said.
The Minister noted that completing the program in April 2018 will not necessarily result in Ghana doing away with the IMF because “the fund will still be with us post program completion, under its technical assistant program for Ghana”.
Rushing out of an IMF program because of borrowing restrictions
Mr Ofori-Atta also rejected suggestions that he is pushing hard to complete the program in April 2018 because of borrowing restrictions and fiscal prudence.
“I think we are getting issues completing wrong, the issue we need to contend with as Ghanaians are whether the fund was there or not with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio and with all the fiscal indiscipline, which we would have to do it ourselves and that is really the fundamental thing,” he said.
Investor responds to going non-deal road show
The Finance said the country would soon start reaping the benefits of its on-going engagement with international investors.
Last week government began a non-deal road show, which has taken the team already to London, Washington DC. The team is expected to engage other institutional investors in New York, Boston next week.
Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawuma has already disclosed to JOYBUSINESS that there are no plans to issue Eurobond this year despite embarking on this activity.
But Mr. Ofori-Atta said discussion has so far been good based on government’s commitment to implement some policies to stabilize the economy and improve the business environment.
“Clearly we came to this meeting having already executed a $2.25 billion domestic financing, so clearing investor responds is already there, but we just want to use this meeting to have that face to face with them”.
He added that the challenge for government now is how to sustain the interest.
Decision not to issue a Eurobond, despite carrying out non-deal road show
The Finance Minister believes that “if we have been able to raise $2.25 billion domestic deal, then there might not be the need to rush to the international market to issue a Eurobond”.